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2nd Ferry

 
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2nd Car ferry
I would ride
59%
 59%  [ 31 ]
I wouldn't
40%
 40%  [ 21 ]
Total Votes : 52

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Jester
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 02, 2006 7:24 pm    Post subject: 2nd Ferry Reply with quote

We've seen this before, but would it work? Your vote is important. I think that if this was a REAL vote and the Slinging of Mud was slung, I think it would be a wild vote just like a DeVos and Grandholm (spelling) debate. If you are so willing to par-take. What if one of the old deckhands aquired a piece of land on the Cheboygan River and devoted it to a ferry service?

Lets give this a try for the coming winter and see what it can do .......

Also,

If you do not wish to vote, give me some imput on this subject. Smile
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Uncle Steve
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 02, 2006 8:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very Happy Very Happy Free enterprise is great, and competition is also great, HOWEVER you might want to investigate.... How many folks were NOT able to be serviced, due to the fact that there was only ONE boat... Land, Boat, Dock fees, Fuel, etc., etc. all cost $$.. I am sure you have thought about all of this.. You will get a lot of encouragement to start a second boat..... However remember those folks are NOT paying the bills ...AND many might only ride 4or5 times a season..
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Cal'sAngel
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 03, 2006 1:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I seem to be a minority on this site, as I know a lot of people have a negative view of Plaunts, however, I would never ride any other ferry as long as I could ride the Kristen D. That does not mean, however, that I feel there shouldn't be another ferry. On the contrary, I believe competition is good, and I have no problem with another ferry. Go across on a crowded Kristen D trapped between cars with nowhere to go and tell me you don't think another ferry would be a good thing! Laughing
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cal'sangel9
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 03, 2006 11:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i'm 50/50, but, like my cousin, i dont think i'd ever ride anything other than a Plaunt boat. they were there first, which is no excuse to not have another ferry, but, their help and service has been with our family for 50+ years. agreed, competition is good, but wasnt there already another ferry? and didnt that other ferry not do so hot? sure, i'd be glad to see another enterprise or family run ferry servicing people to the island, but, too many people depend and trust the Plaunts, that, i dont think another ferry would be as successful as them.
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Conis
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 03, 2006 11:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmmm. Didn't this subject go around 33.3 times last fall, like a broken record? That was last fall and now we have had a summer's worth of one ferry.

First, for the record... Plaunts service is top notch, They are totally on top of things. Quality of service isn't an issue. I have been on/off the island with a vehicle maybe a dozen times this summer. They have always been accomodating, even on short notice, giving me special consideration if I needed to get on/off.

Likewise, many times, the Kirsten D is maxed out, coming and going, expecially on the weekends and holidays, the boat runs almost continuously with added runs. This is good, I guess, from a point of efficiency. Running a half full boat costs every one more, in the long run.

BUT. There have been overflow times, I have seen cars sitting at the dock that couldn't get on... mostly because they didn't know or understand things had changed and that "reservations were strongly recommended". whoops. Different than 2005.

Last Trip out, I had a cordial conversation with Grahm Whipple. In this conversation, he mentioned this past summer was the busiest he had ever seen. He would know. So would curt in terms of cars transported... total volume for the season, (not yet over) I would guess a record will be set in 2006.

I predict this trend will continue, which is another discussion. Some will say they don't WANT more traffic on the island, too much already, and one ferry is a bottleneck to prevent this? Some truth to this, too. This seems to be the controversy.

Lastly, I absolutely believe in free enterprise and competition. Essential... especially if the ferry serrvices(s) are privately owned and operated. If the volume isn't there to support two services, profitably, it will shake out.

I am not up to speed on ferry economics however it would seem to follow supply and demand. Looks to me like the demand is there, but what do I know? There is a lot to this, especially looking forward another 2-5 years.

C
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Jester
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 03, 2006 12:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

cal'sangel9 wrote:
i'm 50/50, but, like my cousin, i dont think i'd ever ride anything other than a Plaunt boat. they were there first, which is no excuse to not have another ferry, but, their help and service has been with our family for 50+ years. agreed, competition is good, but wasnt there already another ferry? and didnt that other ferry not do so hot? sure, i'd be glad to see another enterprise or family run ferry servicing people to the island, but, too many people depend and trust the Plaunts, that, i dont think another ferry would be as successful as them.


The other ferry service did great after the people found out that it was not going to sink, break down ect. ect. The problem was the Cheboygan City Counsil. The CCC removed the lease terms and then there was no place for the ferry to operate.
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Dan Reynolds
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 03, 2006 1:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It sounds like you've answered your own question. The past success of a second service implies that, if you build it, they will come. The main question isn't whether there will be interest; it's whether the business can be managed profitably. You would certainly know better than I do.

In my opinion, it will eventually become second nature to have a second ferry, just as it used to be. There are more people everywhere, not just on BBI, and even with spiking fuel costs, the highways are choked with tourists heading north every weekend and holiday.

Dan
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Al'sOtherSister
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 03, 2006 8:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Instead of a seperate owner/Ferry...would another ferry for Plaunt be a bad idea? Asking....
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Dan Reynolds
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 03, 2006 8:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Seems logical to me. I have to believe they've considered it - must be the economics of doing so just haven't worked out yet.
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GDITheman
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 03, 2006 9:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Any details on the land? Is it up river of the bridge?
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GDITheman
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 03, 2006 9:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A second ferry that fits the needs of the island is difficult to come by. There aren't any on the used market for a reasonable price and the cost of building new is out of site.
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Rosemary
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 03, 2006 10:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I will ask again, who are you, GDITheman? And what do you know about the Ferry Service? It seems that you are only online when it comes to this subject? Questionable at best. WE NEED TWO FERRY SERVICES to get us back and forth. We also need prices that are competitive, so that it will be fair. Question
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GDITheman
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 04, 2006 5:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There needs to be enough of a customer base to support 2 services. A lot of you have expressed that 2 services could only be supported during peak season. The peak season isn't long enough to pay for a 2nd ferry all year. If there was enough of a customer base to support 2 ferry services, I would have run a second ferry this year. I don't have an issue with dock property, I had found a competetive ferry and I had professional mariners ready to go to work. The only problem for me was finding enough customers to support the business. A couple of the captains I had lined up are still very interested in the idea. I don't want to start the business and fail after the 1st season. If Plaunt wants to add a second boat, then he could talk to me and work out a partnership. It might be more succesful than trying to compete against him.

This is the subject I joined the forum to discuss. It is a subject I am very interested in because a) I see potential for this to work and b) it would be a challenging and rewarding project.
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Jester
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 04, 2006 7:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There was well enough customer support for Waynes ferry. The CCC was the culprit on the service. And what captains are you talking about.......I worked on the Joelle Ann Marie for 2 seasons and thought that I met most of the 100GT captains in the area. That was THE main reason FOR getting my 100GT License because of the lack of captains in the area that were willing to run a ferry. And now the CCC denied Waynes lease and screwed me out of a good job. I miss the people on the Island and would love to see thier smiling faces again on a daily basis.
Quote:
A second ferry that fits the needs of the island is difficult to come by. There aren't any on the used market for a reasonable price and the cost of building new is out of site.

The needs? Cars, passengers, supplies. Is there more. And after all ,,, this was a ride or no ride poll, not if the Island needs a 2nd ferry. All I wanted to do was see if there was support, (like you said) and so far there is. ... .. Nuff Said
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GDITheman
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 04, 2006 8:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jester, I support you looking into this idea. I spent a few months last year looking into it. If you have a debt free ferry (Wayne's?), then you might be able to make a profit, but there is not enough customer base to support buying a ferry that meets the needs. The needs would be a safe, reliable ferry that can transport cars (I would also want to have the capacity haul semi trucks). If you have looked around the Lakes or even the country, there aren't many around unless you use Wayne's boat or the old Polaris. Neither can haul trucks and are more weather limited than Plaunt's boat. The weather can be a deciding factor as to which boat people ride. I know there is definite interest in a second ferry. If you can make the economics work, then go for it. I'll ride yours when I go to the island.

As far as captains, there are plenty of talented professionals in the area. Cheboygan is a true maritime town.
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bknoll
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 04, 2006 8:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jester......I'll ride it. Loved riding with you guys in the past. Also would still ride Curt's....just depends on my schedule, weather and sometimes $$$!
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Conis
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 04, 2006 11:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

GDI

cars, freight, passengers represent 90+ % of the traffic back and forth . Curt can handle the largest and heaviest semis. Why would BBI need two ferries of this size and capacity?

I have been on the Joelle AM in 5-6 footers. I got a little wet but at no time did I feel unsafe. Anything more than that I would wait or ride Plaunt if it came down to a choice.

Big boat-Little boat, all a trade off.
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GDITheman
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 04, 2006 11:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Conis,

I agree that semis represent a small percentage of the total revenue, but I would want to be able to offer all the same services. I would not want to miss hauling a contractors pickups because I could not carry his trucks, for example. A larger boat capable of carrying trucks will also do well in rougher weather. So, it's a win - win with a bigger boat. You will keep more customers if they know they can depend on you in rougher weather. There were days when Duffiney did not run his ferry due to weather and people would not have been able to get home after the weekend. If you look at some of the major reasons why people like Plaunt's service, they like the capabilities of his boat. Hauling semis is not a requirement, but in the big picture the bigger boat is. You can take this a step further and look at ferries on the Lakes that run all winter in ice. I looked into the cost of providing a ferry that could run in ice, maybe not all winter, but into the winter and earlier in the spring than the current schedule.

Conis, you said yourself that you didn't think there were enough customers to support a second ferry. I agree.

If Plaunt or Jester wants to partner on this, then I'm all for it. If there is a way to run a second ferry and keep the costs down, then I'd like to sit down and work it out. Like I said earlier, I do have a couple people interested in reviving the idea and they want to talk. I can't run it as a hobby business. I would need to make a profit and pay debt. If someone can make a go of it as a hobby business, then great. If Jester wants to provide service to the Island with a different business model (similar to Duffiney's), then go for it. There is always someone wanting a 2nd ferry. In my opinion, the 2nd ferry needs to be started by: a) a lottery winner, b) a trust fund baby, or c) a wealthy retired person or d) someone who isn't concerned with paying the bank back.
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Conis
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 04, 2006 11:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

you guys sort it out.

Quote:
Conis, you said yourself that you didn't think there were enough customers to support a second ferry.


I don't recall making that statement althought I might have. Out of context.

And I would have made it before this past summer.
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GDITheman
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 04, 2006 12:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Conis wrote:
you guys sort it out.

Quote:
Conis, you said yourself that you didn't think there were enough customers to support a second ferry.


I don't recall making that statement althought I might have. Out of context.

And I would have made it before this past summer.


Your comments were made prior to this past summer.

I'm just adding what I've learned after my research. There is no sense in someone else trying the 2nd ferry again if they can't make it work. If they can, then do it. There is demand and there is opportunity. Just comes down to the timing. Is now the right time?
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theeislandgirl
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 04, 2006 2:42 pm    Post subject: Boat Reply with quote

Reading and Thinking about this all ...


I would for sure support you if you could start running again but I would have to add that I do not come to the Island alot ....

I enjoyed the rides with you .. it was a smaller boat ... There was a comfty area to sit and talk to new friends or stand outside where it was high enough to see everything .. the crew was fun .... and I met a few people that said that they rode your boat only ...

I had to smile when you guys were talking about the size of the boats ...Thinking about the good memories I have of the smaller boats that went to the Island ..

I remember when we did not have a choise to ride a larger boat ... oh boy !! it was fun riding the waves !! Ray was the best of the captains and I knew I was in good hands .. but at the same time when I was quite small it scared me !!

Bert Gahn had a boat and I rode with him too .. He too was a good captain .... Then there was Kevin ... It was fun riding with him ... and he also was a good captain .... Kevin always had a smile on his face and fun to ride with ... There were others too ....

I grew up with the Plaunts on the island and I hope they know that if I ride with you it is not because I have anything against them .. Heavens No
... I do not .. it gets very touchy about these things ......

I wish you sucess and many years of Happy Boating if you do get a boat in the water .. Very Happy
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doug miller
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 04, 2006 2:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have no idea if this would be profitable to pursue, but its a service I might find helpful:

A service that provided both a smaller, significantly faster (and therefore more trips per day) boat that carried people and stuff but no vehicles and a bus or taxi type service on the island that would take people from the dock to their cottage.

Same service might take people from the dock to Mackinac City, St Ignace or Mackinac Island.

Basically, for those of us who don't have a good size boat, our ability to travel off the island for various purposes is limited. It we could do it at a reasonable rate, I think we would. Even if there were simply certain events--like a trip every other week to Mackinac in the summer, it would be nice. Again, I have no idea if it would be profitable.
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GDITheman
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 04, 2006 5:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Doug,

The passenger only ferry was discussed quite a bit last year. I looked at both ferry opportunities (car and passenger only). It is easier to find good passenger only ferries for sale. There also was quite a few people who stated or voted that they would use the service. The issue is how often?
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Jester
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 07, 2006 8:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As of today ...... 385 people have viewed this post ......... under 30 people voted .... what a sorry and lame turn out ......... no wonder we live in this country ..... if this is the way that only this Island votes then I am assuming that whether Grandholm or DeVos or Hitler runs for governor, doesn't matter to the people of Bois Blanc or they are just afraid of the only boat that runs TO the Island .... No wonder why they all pay to much for transportation ...... When and IF a ferry competes with the other .. I sure hope the responce is better then this ..... if not .... then be controlled by the only person that gives you the SERVICE. Are you really that afraid?
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theeislandgirl
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 08, 2006 2:08 am    Post subject: boat Reply with quote

I am too wondering what is going on here ???


We that ride to the island should have some control in who we ride with !!

I want a choise who I ride with !!

Am I afraid NOT to ride Plaunts boat ???

Of Course not !!!!!
Why should I be ??? I grew up with the plaunts .. I would hope they would understand that I have the freedom to ride when the time is right for me ..

I WANNA ANOTHER BOAT GOING TO THE ISLAND !!!!!
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